planning a business meeting – exclusivewritings.com

Planning a business meeting

Your business will have its regular “state of the company” meeting next week. Please prepare the agenda for that meeting. Use letterhead.

Read the items in this document (below) before you begin this task. One item that must be included in the agenda is the scheduled presentation that you will deliver.

I am looking for a schedule that includes the time allocation for each item and the name of the person giving the presentation. Include desired outcomes for the meeting.

Your agenda should be one-page maximum length.

READING

Making Your Meetings More Productive

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

List the key steps needed to ensure productive team meetings and identify the most common meeting technologies.

Much of your workplace communication will occur during in-person or online meetings. To a large degree, your ability to contribute to the company—and to be recognized for your contributions—will depend on your meeting skills. Well-run meetings can help companies solve problems, develop ideas, and identify opportunities. Meetings can also be a great way to promote team building through the experience of social interaction

Preparing for Meetings

A single poorly planned or poorly run meeting can waste hundreds or thousands of dollars, so make sure every meeting is necessary and well managed.

The first step in preparing for a meeting is to make sure the meeting is really necessary. Meetings can consume hundreds or thousands of dollars of productive time and take people away from other work, so don’t hold a meeting if some other form of communication (such as an email message) can serve the purpose as effectively. If a meeting is truly necessary, proceed with these four planning tasks:

To ensure a successful meeting, clarify your purpose, select the right mix of participants, choose the venue and time carefully, and set a clear agenda.

  • Clarify your purpose. Most meetings are one of two types: Informational meetings involve sharing information and perhaps coordinating action. Decision-making meetings involve analysis, problem solving, and in many cases, persuasive communication. Whatever your purpose, make sure it is clear and specific—and clearly communicated to all participants.
  • Select participants for the meeting. The rule here is simple: Invite everyone who really needs to be involved, and don’t invite anyone who doesn’t. For decision-making meetings, for example, invite only those people who are in a direct position to help the meeting reach its objective.
  • Choose the venue and the time. Online meetings are often the best way (and sometimes the only way) to connect people in multiple locations or to reach large audiences. For on-site meetings, review the facility and the seating arrangements. Are rows of chairs suitable, or do you need a conference table or some other arrangement? Pay attention to room temperature, lighting, ventilation, acoustics, and refreshments. These details can make or break a meeting. If you have control over the timing, morning meetings are often more productive because people are generally more alert and not yet engaged with the work of the day.
  • Set and share the agenda. People who will be presenting information need to know what is expected of them, non-presenters need to know what will be presented so they can prepare questions, and everyone needs to know how long the meeting will last. In addition, the agenda is an important tool for guiding the progress of the meeting.

Everyone shares the responsibility for successful meetings.

Conducting and Contributing to Efficient Meetings

Everyone in a meeting shares the responsibility for keeping the meeting productive and making it successful. If you are the designated leader of a meeting, however, you have an extra degree of responsibility and accountability. To ensure productive meetings, be sure to do the following:

  • Keep the meeting on track. A good meeting draws out the best ideas and information the group has to offer. Good leaders occasionally need to guide, mediate, probe, stimulate, summarize, and redirect discussions that have gotten off track.
  • Follow agreed-upon rules. The larger the meeting, the more formal you’ll need to be to maintain order. Formal meetings often use parliamentary procedure, a time-tested method for planning and running effective meetings. The best-known guide to this procedure is Robert’s Rules of Order.

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